Anakpawis solon, fisherfolk file House Resolution calling for moratorium of national reclamation plan
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Wednesday joined Anakpawis Party-list Representative Ariel Casilao and other legislators under the Makabayan Coalition on filing House Resolution No. 1201 directing both the Committees on Aquaculture and Fisheries Resources, Natural Resources, and Poverty Alleviation to conduct a joint inquiry, in aid of legislation on the socio-economic and environmental impact of reclamation projects under the National Reclamation Plan (NRP).
According to PAMALAKAYA, NRP has been adopted and widened by President Rodrigo Duterte in line with his economic path known as Build, Build, Build or massive infrastructure projects. NRP is a set of reclamation projects covering more than 40,000 hectares of Philippine waters which targets to convert its fishing use into eco-tourism and commercial purpose.
The group said hundreds of thousands of fisherfolk and coastal settlers are under threat of dislocation from community and livelihood in pursuance of the NRP.
“We fear for massive livelihood and community displacement if President Duterte pushes this grandiose plan over our waters. Thousands of fisherfolk in the past had been already displaced from their homes in exchange for eco-tourism projects and businesses,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson and also a former Anakpawis Party-list solon said in a statement.
“Even the environmental cost of reclamation activities affects the socio-economic rights of the fisherfolk. Fish havens like mangroves, coral reefs, and sea grasses are rampantly destroyed through the land filling and construction of infrastructures above the waters. This usually results to fish catch depletion and loss, affecting the livelihood of fisherfolk,”
“We assert our right to livelihood and shelter. We reject all types of reclamation and conversion in all types of bodies of water. We instead call for the rehabilitation of our marine and aquatic resources that were already in throe due to past and present government-sponsored destructive projects. The genuine rehabilitation that we propose includes developing and reviving our existing mangroves and corals which serve as habitat for fish species. Also, the government must strictly restrict dumping of chemical and industrial wastes from factories that are situated along rivers, seas, and lakes,” said Hicap.
Fisherfolk who joined the filing of House Resolution were from Navotas, City, Bacoor, Cavite and Laguna de Bay. ###